Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – A Book Review

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is an Amazon best selling book in the categories of business and time management. It is about its origin, principles, and practices of the Scrum framework for creating new software and products. By the use of stories, the book shares the applicability of Scrum as a management system for businesses even outside the technology sector. It is a faster and more effective way of completing projects with the concepts of continuous improvement and immediate feedback already included within the framework.

Book Details

This first edition Scrum book is approximately 6.5 in. wide, 1 inch thick, and 9.5 in. tall. It ships about 1 pound. It has 256 pages, 9 chapters and an appendix. The book is available in hardcover, Kindle and Audio CD formats. It was published in September 2014 by Crown Business Publishing in English. ISBN-10: 038534645X; ISBN-13: 978-0385346450

Price

$16.61 for the hardcover version, $14.99 for the Kindle version, and $21.05 for the Audio CD version.

Target Audience

Scrum The Art book is for business owners, project managers, software developers, and other IT professionals who are involved in software creation or product development. It is also for other business leaders and managers who are responsible for both strategic planning and day-to-day operations. The applicability of Scrum beyond software and hardware projects make the book also a good business management reference for university students who plans a career in technology, as well as finance, healthcare, services, or education, among others.

What Customers Say

Steve B. (Amazon) described Scrum The Art book as not a detailed guide to Scrum practices. It is, however, a book that discuss how it works and the value it provides. It is full of examples and stories about how people have applied the framework and reaped success. The book inspires and motivates readers to know more about Scrum.

Aaron D. (Amazon) stated that the book discusses why people should go into and use Scrum, and why each step is necessary. It is not a how-to book. However, it justifies why readers should consider it, and convinces them to use it. Although he does not implement Scrum completely in his workplace, the reader has seen dramatic improvement in productivity in parts where it is implemented. The book provides some tips how to be productive and has entertaining stories.

Jose P. (Goodreads) stated that the book deserves 5 stars because it has clearly discussed the need for Scrum, how it works, and how it is adapted to the present times. There are many interesting topics. Although the content may seem basic to those who studies and practices agile methodologies for a long time, he still recommends it to beginning and intermediate users of Scrum.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is divided into a preface, 9 chapters, and an appendix that discusses how to begin implementing Scrum. The first 2 chapters discuss the need and origin of Scrum. The rest of the chapters go into stories of how Scrum as a framework, and its practices, provided the solution, the advantages, and the benefits.
Approach/Tone: The author uses narratives and first person point of view to deliver, emphasize and highlight the value and benefits of Scrum. After the stories come the takeaways that provide the reader more direct lessons and recommendations.
Style: The book is mostly text in paragraphs of readable length. The ideas are flowing, where stories are used to deliver the concepts. The language is easy to understand. Concepts and topics are clearly labeled and identified by headers and titles. A few figures are used when needed.

Why Buy the Book

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is a great introduction to the subject. More than just the usual definitions and descriptions, the book explains the concept from the perspective of why it was created, how it works, where it is applicable, and how it can help those who use it. Some readers are disappointed with the Kindle format, for not learning any specific how-tos, from some of the author’s generalization of why things do not work, an oversimplification of how things can be solved by Scrum, and for taking too much credit. Nevertheless, these criticisms constitute only 10 percent while the remaining 90 percent are pleased with the book.

Authors

Jeff Sutherland is CEO of Scrum Inc., and is considered the inventor and co-creator of Scrum. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Mathematics, and Economics at West Point. He is a former USAF fighter pilot who has flown 100 combat missions. He completed his Master’s degree at Stanford University, and received his PhD in Biometrics, Radiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Sutherland was a cancer researcher and ran the IT programs and research for the Colorado Regional Cancer Center. He was Vice President, CTO or CEO of various companies, including 11 software companies. He is also a senior advisor at OpenView Venture Partners.

J.J. Sutherland is the Chief Product Owner of Scrum Inc. He is a certified Scrum Trainer. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and received education in Middle Eastern History from Harvard University. JJ was a journalist at National Public Radio, who covered crisis situations. He won awards for his groundbreaking coverage of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring movement. He is a consultant and coach on Scrum and Agile focusing on domains beyond software development, such as defense, journalism, and services organization. He is also a co-host of a weekly show about video games.

$16.61 for the hardcover version, $14.99 for the Kindle version, and $21.05 for the Audio CD version.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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